Neil Lennon’s application for the Celtic job has been backed by former player Roy Keane, who has ruled himself out of a return to the Glasgow club.

Interim boss Lennon saw Rangers clinch the title on Sunday when Celtic secured second spot with a hard fought 2-0 win at Dundee United.

Keane, subject of a lot of speculation himself this season, is seen as a front runner for the job by many Celtic fans, but he insists he won’t be tempted back to Parkhead.

The current Ipswich boss said, “Be very surprised if you see me walking through the gates at Celtic Park -- except if it’s for the Old Firm game next week because I might come up for that one.

“Celtic are a bigger club than anyone will ever understand unless they have been involved there. I was there for six months and I had my problems with a few injuries, plus the manager didn’t really pick me. The sheer size of the club is staggering.

“Neil has made that point and I couldn’t agree more. Hopefully they will get the right manager and I have to say Lenny is doing well.

“He’s won five league games but I know they lost in the Scottish Cup.

They’re having disappointments, but that’s when you find out who the real supporters are.”

Celtic caretaker boss Lennon saw his side cement second place behind Scottish League champions Rangers thanks to goals from Diomansy Kamara and a late Robbie Keane penalty in Sunday’s 2-0 win away to Dundee United.

Lennon is still hopeful he can succeed Tony Mowbray on a permanent basis at Parkhead, and believes the manner victory at Tannadice will do his chances no harm.

“I like the balance of having a bit of dig with entertainment, going away from home and earning the right to play football,” said Lennon.

“I saw a team out there working for each other. There was a wee melee and all the players were in there. I don’t mind that, we don’t want to be intimidated any more.

“Some of the football was magnificent and it was wonderful result. To finish second and to keep winning games was important.”

Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies has also been linked with the Celtic job but wants to stay with Nottingham Forest.

Davies told BBC Radio Nottingham, “The fact I’ve signed a contract tells you I want to be here. The fact I have two years left tells you I have work to do.

“I’ve had a wonderful 18 months or so at Forest but the job is not done.”
Parkhead legend John Collins has also played down his chances of getting the job.

Celtic have confirmed talks are at an advanced stage to play Rangers in an Old Firm friendly in Boston’s Fenway Park this summer.

The historic game, the first derby outside of Scotland, could be played on July 21 according to the Boston Red Sox.

“We’re aggressively pursuing the match,” Red Sox’s operating officer Sam Kennedy said. “We don’t have anything confirmed but it’s something we’re trying to put together for July 21.

“We recognize it’s a very special match between two very historic teams and the thought is that a very historic venue like Fenway Park would be appropriate to host that rivalry. We’re hopeful that we can make it a reality.”

Northern Ireland winger Paddy McCourt expects to open talks on a new contract with Celtic in the summer.

Neil Lennon